Monday, October 5, 2020

Music History Today: October 6, 2020

October 6, 1927: The first talking picture is released: The Jazz Singer, a musical starring Al Jolson. Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" is one of the first songs heard by talkie audiences.

The Jazz Singer was the first feature-length movie with spoken dialogue and it was one of the most important movies ever made.  

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As TIME’s 1933 review of the Jolson picture Hallelujah, I’m a Bum explained:"Jolson and his career will be remembered because The Jazz Singer was the first sound picture ever made. It cost $500,000 and when it was released in Manhattan on Oct. 6, 1927, there were less than 100 theaters in the world equipped to show it. "  
Read more: TIME

October 6, 1958: "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio raced up from number 83 to 37 on this date.

In 1866, a woman named Laura Foster was murdered in Wilkes County. A man named Tom Dula, pronounced "Dooley", was convicted and hanged for the crime. That murder and the name Tom Dooley live on in one of the most famous folk songs ever to come out of North Carolina.

Tom Dula

Tom Dula was a dashing, handsome Confederate veteran. When he returns from the war, he meets Laura Foster, who was being courted by a schoolteacher named Bob Grayson. Foster fell in love with Tom Dula, but so did another woman, Anne Melton. Melton was married, wealthy, beautiful, and insanely jealous. Learning that Dula was in love with Foster, not her, Anne Melton stabbed Laura Foster to death in a jealous rage. Tom Dula was blamed for the murder. 
Read more: North Carolina Ghosts

October 6, 1969: For the first time in the history of the Beatles, a George Harrison song, "Something," was released as the "A" side of a Beatles' 45. 

While promoting the new Beatles album, Abbey Road, in 1969, John Lennon described George Harrison’s ‘Something’ as “about the best track on the album.” Released as a single in October that year, ‘Something’ would be George’s first Beatles A-side. 
Read more: U Discover Music

October 6, 1976: Rick Dees And His Cast of Idiots receive a Gold record for the novelty hit, "Disco Duck." 

Five days before his song “Disco Duck” hit #1, Rick Dees was fired. He was working as a DJ on the Memphis AM station WMPS. He’d recorded “Disco Duck” as a sort of side-hustle goof, but the song had taken off. 

WMPS wouldn’t let Dees play the song; they figured it would violate FCC rules about conflict of interest. Other Memphis stations wouldn’t play the song, either; they didn’t want to promote their competition.So “Disco Duck” was basically taking off everywhere except Memphis. But one morning on the air, Dees casually mentioned that this song he’d recorded might hit #1, and he also noted that he wasn’t allowed to play it. Dees’ station manager heard him, and he fired Dees on the spot. 
Read more: Stereogum

October 6, 1973:  The song "All I Know" by Art Garfunkel was the US Number 1 Easy Listening song.

Songwriter Jimmy Webb recalled how he finally found a song that Art Garfunkel liked, leading to the success of the singer’s debut solo single, “All I Know.” Webb , who also wrote “Wichita Lineman,” “Up, Up and Away,” and “MacArthur Park,”  praised Garfunkel’s voice, after the singer said he's always doubted it. 
Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

Blue Skies
Al Jolson

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